Solid-state drives have been around for a few years, but they only gained momentum in the last year. Perhaps much more slowly than predicted, prices for first generation products have fallen significantly, while capacity and performance have also improved dramatically. Much remains to be done before SSDs can go mainstream, although not all of the stress can be placed on them, as interface support will also require an upgrade.
This year the transition from SATA 3 Gbit / s to SATA 6 Gbit / s began. AMD already implemented this technology in its latest chipsets and from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0. Both have the potential to increase the demand for SSD technology, but we believe the latter in particular is much more overdue when the aging USB 2.0 standard has become hugely inefficient and no longer meets today's portable storage needs.
While eSATA has tried to answer the call for a faster external interface, it lacks the support, compatibility, and flexibility that USB offers. Not many motherboards support the interface, and few of those with eSATA connectivity offer power ports. This means that 2.5 inch portable devices require an external power source to function.
We have been on the slow track for years, transferring data at around 20 MB / s via USB 2.0. Despite the fact that we were annoyed with the idea of USB 3.0 at the Intel Developer Forum in 2007, the technology is only now coming to fruition. It is very easy today to buy a motherboard that supports what is known as the SuperSpeed standard. It's available for less than $ 100. However, since no chipset integrates the technology, mainstream acceptance obviously has to wait.
To add USB 3.0 support to their products, motherboard manufacturers are using a third-party controller from NEC, which became available in late 2009. The disadvantage here is that the controller on most boards that lack the available PCI Express lanes often lacks bandwidth to accommodate it properly. The other obvious loophole is the fact that the controller only supports two ports and none are easily accessible on the front of your case.
However, with the right motherboard, it is still possible to take advantage of newly released USB 3.0 drives, some of which are based on fast SSD technology. Of course, when talking about a product and using the words SSD and USB 3.0 in the same sentence, one can assume that it will be far from affordable.
That's the case with the new OCZ Enyo, which costs $ 220 for just 64GB of storage, while the larger 128GB and 256GB units cost $ 410 and $ 820, respectively. However, if mobility and speed are your thing, the Enyo may be worth every penny with its claimed transfer rates of up to 260 MB / s for reads and 200 MB / s for data write. We know that OCZ is committed to being at the forefront of SSD technology. So let's see if they can live up to their ambitions.